Roll Call: "In a harsh assessment of President Barack Obama's first year in office, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the administration's 'hard left' agenda has reshaped the political landscape in favor of Republicans while crippling Democrats' chances of enacting meaningful legislation. Democrats 'fundamentally misread the mandate of 2008. I don't think it had anything whatsoever to do with turning America into a Western European country. It was more, kind of fatigue with the previous administration,' McConnell argued during an interview this week in his Capitol office. McConnell argued that as a result, a 'sea change in the political environment' has occurred over the last year that has favored Republicans while causing increasing divisions within Democratic ranks."
Yet, as McConnell talks of Democratic infighting, he's being attacked by his right flank. Here's Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday, per The Hill: "They are up there adding amendments. There's no question they're adding amendments to it. McConnell's office did call here and say that they are opposing this, so I don't know if adding amendments is a strategery [sic] to bollix it up and slow it down. But I -- I disagree. They just need to say no; there's nothing wrong with saying no to this!"
And then on Wednesday: "The Senate Republican leadership strategy here was flawed because it allowed the Democrats to take the offensive, buy time to work out a deal," Limbaugh said. "I know a disaster when I see it. And I know that it's gotta be stopped, and whatever parliamentary steps are available to people ... should have been taken."
The Washington Post front-pages how the Tea Party movement presents both a reward and risk for the Republican Party.
"South Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday quashed a move to oust Gov. Mark Sanford over his summertime tryst and his use of state aircraft, say his embarrassing conduct was not serious enough to merit impeachment. Lawmakers were still considering whether to recommend an official reprimand."